Welcome back readers! After a short, summer hiatus, our story of Tavek Dinaar, fallen Inquisitor, continues with Part 8! In Part 7, Fourth Brother traveled to Mandalore and met up with then-ISB Agent Gideon. Darth Vader’s secret mission to the Mandalorian home world still remains shrouded in mystery…. However a vision of Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Duchess Satine Kryze has given Fourth Brother some degree of clarity. It still wouldn’t prepare him for the revelation to come….
[If you’re new to our story, follow the links below for prior installments or to continue on.]
- Prologue – Part 1
- Part 2 – Bail Organa
- Part 3 – The Inquisitorious
- Shili – Part 4
- Part 5 – The Jedi
- Part 6 – Failure
- Mandalore – Part 7
- Part 8 – The Duchess
- Part 9 – Revelation
I, Inquisitor, Part 8
“As you wish, Inquisitor,” said Gideon. “Right this way.” Gideon first directed me with an extended arm before proceeding towards a turbolift at the far end of the terrace. His demeanor was all at once… changed. Gone was the air of superiority and conceit in which he’d enveloped himself upon my arrival. Replacing it was what I can only describe as anxiety. It was not a fearful apprehension, mind you. Not of me as an Inquisitor, nor of even Lord Vader at whose command I’d arrived on Mandalore. It was instead one of curiosity. He truly hadn’t been given any details of my mission.
Of course, how could he have any inclination? It wasn’t until I arrived that I myself began to assemble the pieces of Vader’s cryptic puzzle of an assignment. It seemed that Gideon and I would unwrap the enigma together. Surprisingly, I found the young ISB Officer’s newly heightened interest in my task promising. It was only later I’d come to realize that none within the Imperial ranks operated without one’s own, nefarious agenda. Gideon was no different.
Still, he proved to be useful during my time on Mandalore. He did as commanded and directed me to the tombs far below the city’s domed surface. Under normal circumstances, Clan Kryze would have claimed Satine’s corpse and taken it for burial among and alongside her ancestral elders. Hers, however, was no ordinary death. Likewise, Clan Kryze had been declared enemies to the Empire. It was the Duchess’s own sister, remember, that assisted Kenobi in escaping Mandalore following Satine Kryze’s death. What happened to her remains a mystery. Her existence and whereabouts, assuming she still lived, were of little consequence to this Inquisitor.
Bo-Katan Kryze mattered not; It was Satine, and Kenobi, in whom I was interested.
Kenobi. I had to remember my mission as an Inquisitor. Obi-Wan Kenobi was my purpose. I’d not yet known why, but would soon discover how deeply the Jedi General had truly fallen. The turbolift’s descent finally came to an abrupt halt as we reached its terminus. The air was cool and dank. Not even the facility filtration system could wholly eliminate the blanket of death that covered the area like film upon a pond. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. Through the Force, I could still feel Kenobi’s anguish. Though he’d probably never actually visited Satine Kryze’s tomb, his presence emanated from it.
Their bond was as formidable as it was forbidden. As I approached her actual burier chamber, I could still sense the Duchess’s lingering guilt. Love was weak; the relationship Kenobi shared with Satine Kryze, a prime example. Even in death, her body reeked of remorse. Not for her passivity as ruler of Mandalore, mind you. No, this was a mourning. She’d passed into the Force forever regretting the pain she’d caused Obi-Wan Kenobi. And then, it hit me. I should have remained resilient and unaffected:
That was the way of an Inquisitor.
It staggered me nonetheless. I froze in place as I stood at the precipice of Satine Krzye’s tomb, my vision reddened with the power of the Dark Side. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I felt Darth Vader’s presence there with my own. The Dark Lord’s own rage filled my consciousness. It stunned me, not just because of the ferocity with which Lord Vader’s psyche invaded my own, mind you. There was something else lurking there. I tried desperately to focus on what drove his fury. Gideon spoke, something about requesting access to Mandalorian vaults on that level. I dismissed him absently and unlocked the vault he wished to access with a flick of my wrist.
My focus no longer rested with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Not entirely, at least. Why had Vader hated the Jedi with such fervor? I held my eyes closed tightly and drew upon all the power the Dark Side would grant me. For a moment, a fleeting moment, I saw Kenobi, surrounded by flames. He was yelling, screaming something I could not understand. I felt searing pain in all of my limbs, and then saw Kenobi again. He walked away, holding his own lightsaber, and another. The image faded but Vader’s unwavering hatred remained.
It was overwhelming.
Never as an Inquisitor had I ever felt such fury. That hatred finally propelled me forward and into the subterranean mausoleum. I was on a mission. The animosity and anger that grew within me inexplicably faded, however, the moment I stepped through the door. Even the air felt lighter, smelled and tasted sweeter than that of the hallway from which I’d just entered. Somehow, despite the tragedy that led Duchess Satine to this place, peace still surrounded her. For the moment I felt changed, unburdened. It was… unsettling. It was not the way of the Dark Side of the Force. For the first time in many rotations, and what would be the first of many, as I’ll come to tell you, I felt the light, fleetingly.
I reminded myself of my mission and my own hatred of Jedi indoctrination in an effort to regain my focus. Lord Vader had sent me there for a purpose. Now was the time for me to discover what it might be. I approached Kryze’s sarcophagus, and with the brush of my hand it began to open. The rather plain and unadorned lid cracked its seals, allowing a puff of humid steam and the scent of flowers to escape. Carefully I lowered the stone to the ground and peered inside.
What I saw blinded me.
Though the searing light scalded my vision, I knew the source to be born of the Force and not from the perfectly preserved corpse upon which my gaze fell. It took all of my strength as an Inquisitor to stave off whatever energy had attempted to overcome me. I steadied myself and my vision returned. Her soul dormant, the Duchess Satine Krzye remained mesmerizing notwithstanding. It was no surprise that Kenobi disavowed his Jedi oaths in her presence. But….
It was not solely the love the two shared that bade Lord Vader to send me there. I could tell that he’d sensed something, something crucial to his search for Kenobi, rested with the Duchess. Assured I was alone, I removed my glove and placed my hand atop Kryze’s which were folded across her chest reverently. The flesh was cold, yet felt fresh to the touch, no doubt the effect of the gases used to preserve her body in death as it was in life.
I waited and focused all the resolve I’d come to develop as an Inquisitor. For a moment, it seemed for naught. Then a wave of emotion overcame me like a barrage of blaster bolts. The remorse of which I spoke previously? The regret that seeped from the shadows of that place? It was not just for the pain her death had caused Kenobi. In fact it was barely that at all. Duchess Satine bore eternal guilt not for the pain that she caused Kenobi, but instead for the pain he’d never know. For knowledge he’d never possess. Knowledge, that is, Vader would use to inflict upon Kenobi vengeance for what the Jedi had done to Vader among the flames of my vision.
Satine Kryze could keep her secret from Kenobi, but not from this Inquisitor.
I withdrew my hand from hers and replaced my glove. I’d ventured to Mandalore unsure of my directive; there was no question now. Through the Force I restored the stone lid I’d earlier removed to its rightful place, and heard the gasses refill the chamber as it slid and sealed itself back into place. With resolve I strode out of the tomb and headed for the turbolift. Gideon called from somewhere behind me. I cared not and ignored his bleating, leaving him behind.
Later, as I rode the platform speeder across the city and back to to my TIE fighter, I could not shake the unnatural uneasiness that encircled me. I’d opened not only a tomb, that day on Mandalore. I’m drawing nearer the end of my story, and my full explanation must wait until then. Suffice it to say for now that Lord Vader had, in sending me there, unlocked that which would trigger my ultimate demise.
At that point Senator Organa stopped the recording and rose from his chair. He paced nervously about his office, dreading the knowledge the Inquisitor was about to impart. Every fiber of his being screamed to stave off the impending revelation. His own reticence would not change what was assuredly to come, however. With a deep sigh, Organa seated himself and began the recording once more.
Once alone, and Mandalore rapidly shrinking in my viewport, I triggered the direct com link Vader had provided me. “Report, Inquisitor,” he ordered. The change in his rasping breath, unnoticeable to anyone less attuned, rang like a cacophony in my ears. Lord Vader was… afraid? No. Not afraid. Even at the time of this recording I cannot adequately describe what I sensed in the Dark Lord in that moment. I’d lingered on the thought too long, as his voice again filled my coms speakers. “Do not keep me waiting.”
“I’ve gone to Mandalore as directed, and visited the tomb of the Duchess Satine Kryze. My Lord, if it’s revenge on Obi-Wan Kenobi you desire, I’ve found the vehicle by which you’ll have it.”
Vader’s mask hissed and expelled, his presence resonating through my com as if he sat in my cockpit beside me.
“I’ve felt a tremor in the Force, Lord Vader. The Duchess still mourns for Kenobi even in death. Although, she mourns not for the pain of her loss with which Kenobi lives. By killing Kryze, Maul exacted a more wounding revenge on Kenobi than he ever realized. She took with her to the Force knowledge she withheld from her beloved Jedi. It was a secret she’d kept for years, and one, despite his strength in the Force, Kenobi never came to recognize.”
At that point I drew silent. The Dark Lord of the Sith did not need a lowly Inquisitor like me to speak the words. Nor would I deny him the satisfaction of uttering them himself.
“There was a child. A Daughter.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
“Find her. Find her and bring her to me.”
(To be continued….)
The preceding is a work of fan fiction based upon and utilizing locations, characters, and/or plot points from the Star Wars universe, originally created by George Lucas and trademarked to Lucasfilm, Ltd. The author makes no claim whatsoever of ownership of the Star Wars name, characters represented, or the Star Wars universe generally. This work is created of the author’s own imagination and is intended for entertainment purposes only. It does not purport to be an “official” Star Wars story or part of existing Star Wars canon in any way. The author is not profiting financially in any way as the result of the creation or publication of this piece of fan fiction.